Chapter 78: An Unholy Tower
The eye of the storm --
The wings of fate and fury --
The chaos storm breaks.
~ Miyara Miwa
We did not get very far. An eagle flew by, one of Ashe's messengers from the gods (or, perhaps, the Druidess), and showed us the hole in the sky.
The hole, just as in Ravena's vision.
We immediately turned and started traveling to the hole in the sky. So far, it look likes the eye of a very small typhoon. I have a feeling it will only be growing. It is directly over the cave behind the waterfall, and we are directly under it. It looks to be, at a guess, at least 1500 feet up in the sky.
We must get the Crystal through the hole, we are certain of that. To that end, Hosei took the Crystal and flew up towards the hole, but he could not reach it. Once he got too close, the chaos storm ripped his magic away. After falling a bit, he was able to fly again, but could not approach the hole. We need a non-magical way of reaching the hole.
The White Faerie lost himself in a trance, and returned with the message from a vision of violence. His home was ruined. Beastmen killed his family. Rivers of blood flowed through a ruined world. He sat on a throne before a mass of worshipping beastmen. He was a harbinger of chaos and he wrecked the world. He could not move off the throne of bone and blood, and its blood ran through him. He was worshipped, and he was trapped.
But beyond the vision, he saw two birds: a finch pointed to a spot in the distance. He could not see what he the finch pointed at, but it was away from his fate. The other bird was a vulture, and it beckoned him to the same spot.
Sulurku is the way out? I do not trust him, and am unwilling to give him any information about the Crystal. He is a being of chaos, and he worships Tzeentch. Still, he must be the our way somehow, as the White Faerie saw.
Kyosuke tried to use the Crystal to call Sulurku. A flash of lightning extended from Kyosuke to the hole, loud and frightening. He tried it again, and nothing happened. And again. He decided the Crystal cannot bring Sulurku to him, but Sulurku was in that direction (where we sent him), about a day's travel.
Before going to find him, we decided to try one more thing: build a tower to reach up to the hole in the sky. Ravena, Ashe, Hosei, Baku, and I tried to use the power of the Crystal of Stone to build one. We all felt dirty, and dusty, but nothing happened. We tried again, and a large number of earth spirits appeared. We all felt covered with dust. The spirits went to work, and built a tower, with a spiral stair within. For hours we labored, controlling and directing the earth spirits. Perhaps this would work! But they could only reach a thousand feet. (A thousand-foot tall tower, a marvel, and yet we were disappointed!) The spirits were exhausted, and could simply do no more. Still, we were a thousand feet closer.
We all trudged up the stairs, inside the tower made of solid rock. We had to rest on the way up, but we made it. There was no wind up there, but there was a metaphysical breeze. The hole looked bigger already, which surprised none of us. Hosei tried again to fly up, but he could only fly up about 10 feet. Ravena called an air spirit, and failed. We all put our efforts into calling one: the Crystal was willing, but the air spirit was weak. It very clearly said, "NO." Baku threw one of his sticks up into the air towards it. It went a good hundred feet up, but fell back down. We are still too far away, and the hole doesn't suck things into it from here. We must be closer.
Kyosuke decided to fly out to Sulurku and bring him back. He tried to reach the hole first, without the Crystal, just to see if he could make it, but he fell back down again. He can fly, but the Crystal will not give him the power to destroy itself. He flew out towards Sulurku instead. I hoped to see him again, and wondered what I would say to my uncle if he did not.
At a loss, we started a fire and cook some of Hosei's mackerel, while we discussed the matter. After dinner, we were no closer to an idea. The hole was growing, as was the storm around it, and it began to rain. Then it began to rain fish. Someone mentioned beer, and a mug of beer fell from the air, shatter at our feet. Hosei thought about wings, but nothing happened.
And then my cousin returned. Flying through the air, not only by the power of the Crystal, but with wings. Physical, feathered wings growing from his back. This will be very hard to explain to my uncle. Much harder than if he had simply disappeared on a difficult and heroic mission. If they are permanent, I fear they are a terrible stain on the family's honor, and there is only one way to deal with that. I am certain that, should his wings be permanent, rendering him a non-human, he will do the right thing. If not, I will do it for him. But after all, they may be temporary and will disappear when we destroy the Crystal.
But perhaps, with physical, non-magical wings, he can fly up to the hole. I gave him the Crystal, and he asked to borrow Caramela's dagger. He flew up, and up...